Challenges of ad networks; is mobile the way ahead?

Challenges of ad networks; is mobile the way ahead?

Author | Gopal Sathe | Wednesday, Feb 09,2011 7:18 AM

Challenges of ad networks; is mobile the way ahead?

Digital advertising is becoming a mature industry and has seen a lot of development in the last five years. While the industry started off as little more than a trading service where companies would buy inventory from publishers and then make it available to advertisers on scale, today the industry is driven by innovation and analytics and companies have to offer a range of services to make an impact.

Ozone Media, one of the oldest ad networks in India, recently reached its fifth anniversary. Speaking on the occasion, Kiran Gopinath, Founder and CEO, Ozone Media, said, “The industry in general is doing well now. We have seen a lot of change in the last five years, in both advertisers and ad networks, and as both sides have increased in sophistication, the market is maturing significantly.”

Prashant Mehta, CEO and COO, Komli Media, also felt that online advertising was now a significant part of the marketing plans of companies. He said, “The problems we faced were with infrastructure, reach and changing the mindset, which are issues that still need to be overcome to a degree. But in many sectors, today online is past the tipping point and is routinely accepted as part of the picture. The automotive industry, for example, is one of the most integrated with digital, and travel and financial services are also moving a lot of their business online now. FMCG and retail still need to find out how they can make the most of the medium, but this is also something we are anticipating growth in.”

He added, “In India, our ads are seen by 35 million viewers in a month across 2,100 publishers. We’re also seeing a lot of geographical diversity in our audience, which is good for advertisers too. There is a healthy demand in the marketplace from both traditional and new advertisers, and one thing we have seen change over the last four years that we have been in the market is that while we still have to educate people a lot, the kind of questions we get asked are a lot more pertinent.”

Mehta explained, “Earlier people wanted to know why they should go online. They thought we were wasting their time. Last year though, we saw 600 per cent growth in revenue, and today, people are not asking us why they should go online, but rather, how. What is the new way of engaging the customer? How can we innovate to reach more people?”

Nitin Chowdhary, Business Head, Tyroo, noted, “Networks must optimise themselves and use technology well. This is the learning of the industry so far, and technological optimisation can help create and deliver the best final product, something which wasn’t really available five years ago.”

Gopinath said, “The industry is seeing significant growth, and we are reaching 33 per cent of all Internet users from India. More than that though, we are bringing in more efficiency and more options, and providing scientific solutions. There is a lot of competition now in the industry, and analytics and optimisation through innovation in technology is very important in bringing about growth.”

“Even more than the last five years, the next five are going to be very exciting. So far we have built up a market and built up technology, but now with the growth of mobile Internet and 3G, we should see a revolution in digital advertising,” he said, adding, “The kind of advertising is changing now, and more people are starting to look at the web as an option, and with the adoption of new mobile technology, we will see much more of this. Consumer behaviour is changing, led by the youth, and advertisers will chase audiences. This shift is already underway and people need to be very active in mobile advertising now to have a role to play five years later.”

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